England’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) has unveiled a radical new vision for nurses, midwives and nursing associates in England.
Dame Ruth May today revealed her vision for the professions over the next three to five years and said it will “inspire a new direction for nursing and midwifery in the UK”.
She noted that, for the first time, nurses, midwives and nursing staff across all facilities will have a common vision.
Due to the appointment of a new health and social care secretary, Victora Atkins, this week, the final version of the more detailed strategy is yet to be signed off.
However, Dame Ruth could still reveal headline announcements at her annual CNO summit, being held in London today and tomorrow.
“The vision sets out how we will use our expertise, skills and unique position to protect and support the health of our nation now and into the future,” she said.
“It reflects the challenges facing our profession and health care system.”
The vision will be conveyed through the seven Ps – including five focus areas and two “career impact drivers”.
These will be applicable to nurses, midwives and nursing associates working in all settings.
First focus area: Protecting our planet
This focus area will see nurses and midwives championing sustainability, advocating for those most affected by climate change and delivering lower carbon care evidence-based.
Second focus area: Prevent, protect, promote and reduce health inequalities
Nurses and midwives will maximize their professional contribution throughout life, focusing on prevention, protection and the broader determinants of health.
Third focus area: Person-centered practice
Person-centred practice will be at the heart of everything nurses and midwives do and build on shared values to improve outcomes and empower people and communities to manage manage their health and care.
Focus area 4: Public and patient safety
This is about nursing and midwifery being safety critical professions, focusing on quality, safety and creating a culture that empowers individuals to raise concerns and know that they will be act.
Fifth focus area: Professional leadership and integration
This focus area focuses on nurses and midwives using their unique roles across the lifespan to promote greater inclusion to meet the needs of patients and their communities.
The first factor that creates career impact: Developing people and the workforce
Nurses and midwives will have diverse and rewarding career paths and benefit from lifelong learning.
This support tool focuses on prioritizing the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the nursing and midwifery workforce, to recognize the physically and mentally demanding work they do.
The second factor that creates career impact: Professional culture
This enabler ensures there is a culture that promotes inclusivity and values, while championing evidence-based practice, digital and data, research and the use of cutting-edge technology .
To support the national strategic vision, NHS England is expected to make a number of commitments next year in each priority area.
Dame Ruth told the conference that NHS England will take a “bespoke approach” as it develops more detailed delivery plans for each focus area by 2024.
“Realising our ambitions will require all of us,” she said.
“This cannot be a national business plan or something that sits on a shelf.
“To make it successful, it must be applicable to all of our professions at every level.”
In a question-and-answer session at the end of her speech, with Nursing Times editor Steve Ford, Dame Ruth said she was excited about setting out her vision for prevention.
“The past few years have made clear that our profession plays an important role in public health,” she said.
“However, there is more we should and can do to support people to get the best start in life and live longer, healthier and happier lives.
“That is why one of the Ps in my new vision for nursing and midwifery is a focus on preventing, protecting, promoting and reducing health inequalities.”
The announcement comes more than a decade after the previous CNO, Jane Cummings, published her 6Cs of nursing and midwifery – a three-year strategy that sets out a common aim for the professions to deliver Dedicated, high-quality care service.